TORONTO The Toronto event scene seems to be in transition this year, with the cancellation of several high-profile events and promising new events popping up to fill the void. Torontonians of different cultural backgrounds—and visitors from near and far—are hungry for the festivals, concerts, performances, feasts, and fund-raisers that happen here.
While Toronto mayor John Tory routinely turns up at events in his hometown, it’s rapper Drake who unofficially reps The Six. He cheers courtside at Raptors games and put the city’s iconic CN Tower on his most recent album cover. So it wasn’t surprising to learn that the home-grown actor and musical superstar’s much-anticipated OVO Fest would be moving to a much bigger venue—the Air Canada Centre—in 2016. It also moved to the top of the music category.
Although he’s not a Torontonian, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also turned up at several high-profile events this year, making international news when he marched at the front of the city’s Pride parade. His cause-oriented wife, Sophie, makes waves whenever she turns up, too, including at fashion industry events.
Speaking of fashion, one notable loss in 2016 is Toronto Fashion Week; its sponsors announced its cancellation earlier this month. The industry is waiting to see what will replace it, and the cancellation gave Toronto Men’s Fashion Week a chance to rise to the top.
To choose and rank the annual events on this list, we look at several factors, including economic impact, buzz, innovation, and an event's prominence within the communities it intends to serve.